National Radio Midday Bulletin
Parliament Summoned - Al Morrison Live - Labour Cabinet Decisions - Coroner Criticises Police - Americas Cup - Russian Elections - NASA Space Shuttle - Westpactrust Strike - Auckland Riot - Ngawha Prison - Cricket
PARLIAMENT SUMMONED: Clip of Sian Elias - Chief Justice - commanding MPs to attend Parliament's opening. Parliament's 120 representatives are not being sworn in. Parliament will then elect the speaker and Jonathan Hunt is widely tipped to get the job.
AL MORRISON LIVE: In practice neither the Queen nor the GG attend Parliament. We had three commissioners this morning and the Black Rod with a superb ceremonial cloak. Judges were dressed to the nines in their wigs. Parliament has now elected its new speaker Jonathan Hunt. Jonathan Hunt is now addressing the MPs and has promised to reflect the will of the people. Mr Hunt has produced a yellow and red card system as a bit of fun - with a serious side behind it. Atmosphere here today summed up by Max Bradford - when he was sworn in with Sue Bradford he embraced Sue on the floor of the house. Very good atmosphere there. Labour is finally occupying the government benches - there has been talk of mingling the Labour and Alliance members and that has happen. Nandor Tanzsos has his dreadlocks in a turban look and a new hemp suit. First Pacific Island woman MP is also in traditional dress and has impressed.
LABOUR CABINET: Minimum wage set to rise 55 cents to beyond 7$. Student loan changes are due to be announced shortly, as are terms of reference for an inquiry into the F16s purchase. Topping the legislative agenda this week will be tax rises and rolling back ACC.
CORONER CRITICISES POLICE: Cambridge Coroner has found police are responsible for the death of a motorist when an officer stopped another driver in a difficult spot.
AMERICAS CUP: Foot traffic on Queen Street has increased by 7% over last year and is three times that in Newmarket. Alec Sweeney says the Cup is bringing in a $90 million boom. Inner City comeback arrives as St Lukes announces a major upgrade of two of its malls.
RUSSIAN ELECTIONS: Communist Party has opened up an early lead in elections. In Far East Unity has opened up an early lead. Market reformers led by Sergei Kiriyenko is pushing hard for third places. Primakov's Fatherland Block is trailing badly at present. The communists may find themselves more isolated than ever.
NASA SPACE SHUTTLE: Another Space Shuttle launch is planned for today. Three space-walks are expected in the mission to repair Hubble telescope.
WESTPACTRUST STRIKE: The industrial dispute appears close to resolution. WestpacTrust bank staff took action demanding pay rates similar to others in the sector. The bank has made some major concessions. A representative of the Union says that WestpacTrust should not take comfort from this - as there are still issues relating to performance management.
AUCKLAND RIOT: Organisers of New Year concert in Auckland Domain say they are unlikely to impose a liquor ban following problems with drunken youths pelting police with bottles. Police says he thinks the problems will not be repeated. Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher says she doesn't want to punish everybody for the behaviour of a minority.
NGAWHA PRISON: 80% of submissions on a Northland Prison are against the location.
CRICKET: Chris Cairn's
has early success in the second innings. He now has three
wickets with the West Indies on 78 for 6 - a lead of 50